If you’ve been reading my notebook in the order I’ve written it and have no familiarity with Cryptix at all you may have come to the conclusion that Cryptix are terrifying and creepy creatures that you should fear. And you wouldn’t be alone in that regard, most normal people avoid interacting with Cryptix as much as possible. That’s the reason wizards (I’ll talk more about wizards eventually) can say whatever they want about the creatures and suffer no backlash. That’s the reason unscientific books like the Cryptinomicon can be circulated without any sort of follow up or peer review. You wouldn’t think a modern world like ours would have such a large gap in our understanding of the natural world–a part where no scientist has dared to tread (I’m getting distracted, let me try again).
Cryptix are not as scary as most people would have you believe. And many of them are more cute than creepy. And I am not just referring to my Crypticat friend Chain, whom I recognize is just as Creepy as she is cute. However the subject of today’s notes is the Pon. An adorable Cryptix that enjoys playing with children.
After the long walk home from the underground tunnels I decided that Chain and I deserved a bit of a break. So we took a few day’s to laze around the house eating good food and watching pointless TV shows (Chain somehow figured out how to use the TV remote).
But after a few days my mind turned back to my project of cataloging every Cryptix possible and proving the Cryptinomicon a baseless bunch of garbage. I hadn’t really filled in that many pages of my notebook, with only the Crypticat, Threst, and Crypt Deer filled in. The Cryptinomicon has 154 different creatures cataloged inside. And I suspect there are many–many more beyond that (of course I have no proof–yet).
Luck was on my side, as I sat at my workshop desk making comparisons between my notes and the Cryptinomicon I just so happened to look out the window. The playground just outside my apartment building always seems to have way too many children playing around happily (I’m not a fan of kids, but the location is good and the apartments are high quality). But that day there was a different kind of creature among them. A small ball-like creature with pointy ears and odd round hands. It almost seemed to be made of rubber. It was a Cryptix, a Pon.
I ran out the door so fast I almost forgot this notebook. My intention was to leave Chain to watch her odd TV programs (Don’t ask what she watches) but when she noticed me running out of the apartment she slipped through the door and followed close behind me. I took the stairs, the four flights were faster than waiting for the sluggish, creaking elevator that management insisted was perfectly safe. There really wasn’t any reason for me to think the kids and the Pon would be gone by the time I got down the stairs, but I hurried anyways.
When Chain and I reached the playground the kids were running around throwing and spiking the Pon like it was a volleyball, it bounced off the ground wildly, giggling the whole time. I flagged them down and tried to ask them more about the Cryptix. But kids are hard to get focused (and it doesn’t help that I’m terrible with them). For the sake of my sanity I recorded our conversation and will include the transcript with my notebook.
Cynical: What can you tell me about that Cryptix?
Kid 1: Don’t worry, Claire is a Wizardling, she has a fancy ID and everything.
Claire: Yeah, see….
Cynical: Uhh, no I don’t really care about that. I’m asking about its behaviors, like for example, how it acts and behaves.
Kid 2: Hay I know you, you’re that Doctor Cynical guy my mom is always trying to spy on.
Kid 3: He’s kind of famous right, I saw him on TV a lot when I was younger.
Kid 1: Wait, is he a Wizard? Look he has a Cryptix with him, it’s the cute cat thing following behind him.
Kid 2: No way, my mom says he’s a crazy doctor, they don’t let Wizards become doctors, even crazy ones.
Claire: But he doesn’t have it on a leash or anything like that. Cryptix don’t just follow non-wizards around.
Cynical: This is Chain, she was locked up in a tomb in the underground Dungeons. When I let her out she decided to come with me.
Kid 3: Whoa, you’ve been in the ungrounded before?!
Cynical: Yes I’ve been researching Cryptix. Which brings us back to why I wanted to talk to you kids. What can you tell me about that Pon?
Claire: You can touch him if you want to. He doesn’t mind, he’s really rubbery and bouncy. My master says there used to be more of them. But they need to play with people, and if they don’t they get really depressed and die.
Cynical: Ahh, I see, and most normal people don’t really like Cryptix so—wait—there used to be more? Does that mean people used to play with them?
Claire: I don’t know, that’s just what my master said—hay—since I told you about my Familiar Cryptix, can you tell me about yours?
Cynical: Well she’s not really my Familiar. But sure…
(notebook flipping sounds)
She’s a type of Cryptix called a Crypticat. Her tail can stretch out really far. I know the blade on the end of her tail looks dangerous but she’s actually harmless. Say hi Chain.
Claire: Huh, so she listens when you tell her to do stuff?
Cynical: I don’t really tell her to do anything. She just does whatever she wants.
Claire: Really? Hay Chain, smack Pon here with your paw.
Cynical: Oh I’m sure she can’t understand a command that complicated anyways.
Claire: Really? You sure? Why don’t you command her to.
Cynical: Uhh, you’re being a little…. Well—why not? Chain hit the Pon with your paw.
(Sound of a ball being hit and bouncing off of something. Giggling as it goes.)
(Clicking and distorted sound and then the recorder is turned off.)
I was able to get a good amount of information on the Pon. It’s made out of some kind of elastic. I say elastic and not rubber because it can generate electricity somehow as it bounces around. It can also rub its odd round hands together to build up an electric charge—kind of like a balloon. And rubber isn’t a good conductor of electricity. But as far as I can tell the creature isn’t made out of normal flesh either. It bounces like a ball, and no matter how hard you hit it, it just keeps giggling.
And even I have to admit the creature is quite cute. Claire said that it likes to cheer people up when they’re sad. I have no idea how it can tell when a human is sad. That’s definitely something I’m going to have to look into later. I don’t even really have a good theory.
The information Claire shared with me about the Pon needing to be played with to keep living seems to be something she got from the Cryptinomicon (Or her master got that info from the oversized paper weight). But her claim that there used to be more and they died off because people wouldn’t play with them anymore—that wasn’t in the book at all. And that bothers me for some reason. As far as I know people have always been afraid of Cryptix. I might not agree with that fear, but it’s been documented going back thousands of years.
Well she’s just a kid, she probably just misunderstood what her teacher was trying to tell her. No reason to lose sleep over it.